I was born in Johannesburg. I am a twin, my sister’s name is Nosipho. I was born a healthy baby just like any other child. I became disabled at a very early stage of my life. After few days after I was born, I was involved in a fire accident that affected my both legs and feet and changed my entire life. After the incident we were taken to stay with my grandmother –  my sister and I. We went to live  in Ngqamakhwe at Lambata Location. At that time my mother was still at University doing her Bachelor’s Degree.
Growing up for me was not easy because I had to learn how to walk all by myself. I will never forget the day I walked because it was a special day for me. I was very old when I started taking my few steps. I had friends who would come and visit us at home and they were all able to walk as we were the same age gut I was still not able to walk. I remember, I could not run around, I was crawling while other children were running around. One day my mom was at home, back from varsity. I was not sure whether it was a school holiday or what but she was at home and I was still not able to walk so she took me into one of the rooms and locked me inside. She started beating me with a stick asking me to walk – I am telling you, it was not a nice experience. I remember crying very hard. I thought that she was going to kill me. I tried walking and walking. My grandmother knocked at the door begging her to open and let me go. Eventually she stopped beating me, I thank my grandmother for that. Later that day I started walking and never stopped – thanks to my mother.
I was never treated in a special way while I was growing up at home. I had house chores just like everybody else. I had to go to school, come back then go to the river and fetch water, had to learn how to cook, do my laundry, make fire and all other chores.
After finishing my primary school, I went to study at Mtata. My mom took us to one of the best private schools called Holly Cross Education Centre High School. There were a lot of challenges for me because I had to adapt to a lot of things. I was the limping new girl at school – nobody had a disability. I had to make new friends, meet a lot of different people because the school had a lot of students from different backgrounds, different races, cultures, languages etc. but everyone was so nice and the teachers were amazing. As days went by I did not feel different at school because of my disability from other learners. If I was late at school I was punished just like any other learner.
Because I am a very loving person and likes talking I made a lot of friends as a result I ended up enjoying school even more and never felt different from other people/students. Yes, there were other students who would give me a funny look maybe when we were running at the play-grounds and all that and you would find some people looking at you as if you are crazy, how can you run while you have a limp but those things never bothersome me. I had to be strong and move on, move on with life. I studied and got a Matric exemption and was in the top ten during the trial exams.
After Matric I was admitted at Nelson Mandela Metro University to do a Diploma in Marketing and Logistics. I had to drop out in my second year because of financial constraints. I also applied at Walter Sisulu University at Umtata where I was doing my Bachelors Degree in Business Management and was fortunate to get a bursary there. There were a lot of disabled students in the campus. Every week there was a meeting for disabled students and I learned a lot about disability and varsity. At that time our National Youth Chairperson was a student and his name was Wonderboy Goji. He introduced Disabled People South Africa (DPSA) to us.
The following year I was nominated as the Chairperson of the Student Movement for people with disabilities. I was very active and influential in the group. We were fighting for our rights because some of the things done at school were not suitable for us and were done without consulting us that is why we were facing a lot of challenges. I also became active in DPSA and in 2012 we launched Disabled Youth South Africa (DYSA) at O.R. Tambo District where I was appointed as a Chairperson.

There were a lot of things happening at varsity as a result students with disabilities were later neglected. We had to come up with strategies and done everything in our power to let our voices heard. I was also in a registration team to make sure every disabled student whether new or old gets the bursary and accommodation according to their disabilities. It was not easy but we were united as the group.
I learned a lot mentally and I knew how to conduct myself as a young woman who has a disability. I also learned how to be responsible.
In 2012 I was one of the disabled persons who were selected to do a learnership at Mercedes Benz South Africa in East London. It was for graduates with disabilities who were not able to get a job. It was a one year contract and after that I went to Volkswagen South Africa to do an internship programme to do experiential training in accounts department. It was also a one year programme but I could not finish that year as I was permanently employed by the Department of Justice since October 2013. I am employed as an Administrative Clerk and enjoying the experience that I am getting. My life here has not been easy but I am pulling through.
There are a lot of things that I had to learn and do by myself and I am happy because I would not be here today if it was not for the love and support of my family and also the unconditional love God has given me. Also growing up in a Christian family helped a lot. My grandmother is a praying woman and she has a lot of faith in God. She is a very strong woman and fearless who taught me how to pray and believe in God. I think I got my strong personality from her. I am a very strong person, ambitious and also fearless. I speak my mind out a lot and I stand up for what I believe is right. Also my mother is very supportive and always tells me that there is nothing more important than trusting in the yourself and the Lord. I like to take charge and be in control. Sometimes I forget that there are some other things that I cannot do by myself as we all need to get a helping hand.
I now have two siblings i.e. my twin sister, Nosipho and a younger sister Kungwayo. My family is very important to me and I feel like if it was not for them I would not be here today.
For me future is very unpredictable, life is not easy but hey what can we do! I am still a young woman with a bright future ahead of me. I now know that the sky is the limit. There is nothing I cannot do. I am a person and have made some bad choices that I am not approved of in the past. I am not different from any other human being. You know when you are disabled people think that you are stupid or a fool and that there is nothing you can do. I am not bragging but I have a lot of things that I have achieved as compared to other abled persons. I and my family are proud of me. I have a job and a very nice car that I bought myself. I was never given anything on a silver platter, everything I have now I know I worked for and earned it.
For me having a car is not a luxury but a necessary need because at times I struggle to walk long distances and cannot stand for long. I have chosen to drive a manual type not an automatifc because I know I can do it. There are a lot of things that restricts us people with disabilities but I do not see why we cannot do them. I went to a driving school, learned how to drive and went to test for my driver’s licence, passed like anybody else.
I was never treated special or given my licence without going through the necessary steps. Hence I proved some other people wrong about disability.
I would like to encourage other young people especially young girls with disabilities to see acknowledge that there is nothing impossible in life. It is OK to have a disability – it is not a shame. There are a lot of opportunities in this world. Having a disability is not about having a disability grant and getting sympathy from other people, there is actually more than that. Every person is on this earth for a reason. I believe that if one wants things to be done then it is up to them to get them done. Be hands on and do things yourself.
In ten years to come I see myself being more successful, driving a very nice car maybe a BMW or a Jeep, having my own family (with a loving, handsome husband and my children) in a beautiful house. We all have dreams and I believe that it is every girl’s dream to get married and have children.

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